how to sell on amazon guide

How to Sell on Amazon: Get Your First Item Listed This Week

Interested in selling on Amazon but not sure where to start?

Follow the steps in this guide and you will be set up to get your first sale on Amazon – including getting your first product listed – in the next few days.

No fluff, no big investments – just a straightforward way to get your Seller account set up and your first product listed for sale on Amazon. The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can get to work on scaling.

Ready to Get Your First Sale on Amazon?

Follow a step-by-step process for getting your first sale. Everything you need to know is included and condensed into this FREE, 40-page E-book!

Here’s what we’ll cover in this beginner’s guide to selling on Amazon (you can use the links to jump straight to a specific section if desired):

How to Start Selling On Amazon (Overview)

Even if you are starting from scratch, the process of getting started on Amazon isn’t as hard as many people think. Here are the main steps you will need to take:

  1. Review the sourcing strategies you can use to get products.
  2. Learn the rules (and fees) for selling on Amazon.
  3. Register for an Amazon seller’s account.
  4. Obtain your first products to sell.
  5. Create your first product listing.
  6. Ship your products to FBA warehouses (or fulfill orders yourself).

If you take these six steps, you will get your first sale. Once you do that, growing that start into a successful business is a matter of reinvesting and repeating steps 4 through 6 over and over again.

Step 4 is what trips a lot of people up. Later in this guide, we’ll cover a product sourcing strategy that will allow you to find your first products to sell this week in your local retail stores. This strategy is called retail arbitrage, and I owe the initial success of my business (and over 7-figures in sales each year) to it.

How Much Can You Earn Selling On Amazon?

One of the main questions people have before getting started on Amazon is ‘how much can I earn as an Amazon seller’.

The answer to this question is different for everyone and largely depends on what your goals are and what you want to sell. There are people who make next to nothing, and there are others who make 7+ figures in profit.

But in general, my experience suggests that earning a comfortable living is well within the capabilities of the majority of people who invest the time needed to build a successful business.

To give you a better idea of what is possible when you sell on Amazon, I’ll share some details from my own experience.

My Experience Selling On Amazon

Getting interviewed about selling on Amazon by GMA!
That’s me getting interviewed about selling on Amazon for Good Morning America!

I lucked into selling online early when I got a bad offer at textbook buy-back even while I was in college. I decided to try selling them online instead, and soon I was buying other people’s books from them to sell online as well.

In the early days, I didn’t treat selling online as seriously as I should have because I didn’t appreciate how much I could earn. It took several years and a lot of discontent at the accounting job I took after graduating to make the jump into selling online full time, and when I did that I was able to earn $16,376.35 profit in my first three months (Q4 2013).

This business has been supporting me ever since.

During the last 6 years, I’ve learned many things that have helped my business succeed well beyond what I thought was possible in the beginning. 2015 was our first year doing over $1 million in sales on Amazon, and this year we’re on pace to do over $7 million!

In April 2019 alone, we did over $500,000 in sales!

So it took me about five years to take the plunge and do it full-time, and within two years of doing so, I was able to exceed a million dollars in sales.

How much money do you need to start selling on Amazon?

A question that goes hand in hand with the first one we discussed (how much can you earn) is ‘how much money do I need to start selling on Amazon’.

You can start selling on Amazon with whatever amount you can afford to invest – even if that amount is under $100. Using retail arbitrage as your beginning sourcing strategy allows you to start with even just 1 or 2 products that you source from local stores, and as long as you continuously reinvest 100% of the profits early on, you can turn that small start into a full-size business.

With that being said, there is a reason I said that you can start with “whatever amount you can afford to invest”. The more capital you have, the more inventory you can afford to buy. More inventory means more potential sales, and more potential sales means more potential profit.

You should not use leverage (debt) in order to start bigger than you can actually afford to do. Even if you don’t have a dime, you are better off taking on the flipping challenge and using that as your starting capital. The idea behind the flipping challenge is to start with $0 and 5 items you pick from things you already own, then turn those 5 items into $1000+ within 90 days. You can read a recap of one of my team member’s successful flipping challenge here.

So not having money shouldn’t prevent you from getting started. Starting with a couple hundred dollars for inventory and $39.99 to invest in a professional sellers account (more on this below) would be even better, but starting now is much better than waiting!

Selling on Amazon for Beginners (How Amazon Works)

Before we dive into how to set up your account and how to find products, let’s take a minute to go over how Amazon works.

Here’s what a product listed on Amazon looks like. I’ve added some arrows to draw your attention to some details that you may not have paid much attention to as a buyer:

Screenshot of Catan Sold By 3rd Party On Amazon
(Note: Click on the image to enlarge for a better view.)

There are a few noteworthy items in this screenshot:

  1. The arrow and underlined name in the center of the screenshot is a “3rd Party Seller” on Amazon.  If you start selling on Amazon, you will also be classified as a 3rd party seller. They are in what is known as the “Buy Box.”  What this means is that when a buyer clicks the “add to cart” button” it will be this seller’s item that is added to the cart to purchase.  In this case, the seller in the Buy Box is ROLANDA.
  2. The seller that is in the buy box has their listing “Fulfilled by Amazon.”  This means that Amazon will handle shipping this item to the customer.  We’ll get into more details on what Fulfillment by Amazon means shortly.
  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, you can see that there is a section with “Other Sellers on Amazon.”  This section also displays 3rd party sellers on Amazon, however, these sellers aren’t in the “buy box.”
  4. You might notice that “” is not listed as a seller in either the buy box or the other sellers sections.  On many products, you will see listed as a seller of the product you are looking at.  Generally speaking, 3rd party sellers see better sales on their products when is not a seller on the same item.

When you sell on Amazon, your item will be displayed in either the buy box or in the other sellers section of the Amazon product detail page.

Generally, there are only 3 different sellers shown in the other sellers section on the main product detail page.  If there are more than 3 other sellers, which is very common, then the buyer will have to click to view all of the available offers to see every seller who is on the listing.

It’s also important to note that all sellers for the same item display on the same product page. If you’ve sold on eBay in the past, then this will be a bit of a change.  When selling on Amazon, you are able to add your product offering on the same product detail page as other sellers. On eBay, you have to create your own listing.

In the case of the Catan board game above, there are 81 total sellers that have this item for sale at the time of the screenshot.  The buy box seller and the other sellers section are the only sellers who are featured at the current time.

Getting the buy box is a key part of seeing success on Amazon.  The exact algorithm is not known, but 3 of the top factors you can control are your price, your feedback rating, and your fulfillment method.

The fulfillment method is very important for maximizing your results on Amazon.  Using Fulfillment by Amazon as your fulfillment method will be one of the best things you can do to generate sales when selling on Amazon.

How to Sell on Amazon using FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

I just mentioned that Fulfillment by Amazon will most likely be the best option for you to fulfill your products, so let’s walk through how selling on Amazon FBA works.

  1. Find a product that you want to sell on Amazon.
  2. List the product for sale on Amazon.
  3. Prepare your items for shipment.
  4. Box up your items and ship them to the warehouse location that Amazon assigns during the listing process.

At this point, your work is just about done with the product.  Here are the steps that Amazon will take once the items arrive at their warehouses:

  1. Verify that you have sent the correct items in the proper condition.
  2. Upon verifying the items are correct, Amazon will activate your listings.  This means that your seller name will appear on the applicable product detail page, and your item will be available for sale.
  3. Amazon will store the item in their warehouses until a customer orders it.
  4. When a customer orders the item, an Amazon team member will ship the item to the customer.
  5. Once the item has shipped, Amazon will deposit your share of the sale into your seller account.  Your share is the selling price less Amazon’s fees.  You will receive an email from Amazon every time they ship an order for you.
  6. Every 2 weeks you will receive a deposit to your bank account for items that have sold for the prior 2 weeks.

Essentially, you are responsible for finding items to sell and getting them to Amazon.  After that, Amazon takes care of the rest of the process. We’ll be talking about finding products to sell later in this guide.

What Are the Benefits of Using the Fulfillment by Amazon Program? 

There are a few key benefits to selling on Amazon using the Fulfillment by Amazon program.

The biggest one that impacts Fulfillment by Amazon sellers is the free shipping benefits offered to customers:

Prime Delivery Options Screenshot

The screenshot above takes a look at some of the benefits that shoppers on Amazon have who are a part of the Amazon Prime program.  Amazon is rolling out some additional benefits and now offers free one day, same day, and 2 hour delivery on certain items in select cities.

When you sell on Amazon using the Fulfillment by Amazon program, your items are available for all of these prime shipping benefits.  That means customers can get Free Two-Day Shipping on the items that you sell.  

The fast shipping times are very appealing to customers and make them more likely to purchase an item from you versus a seller whose item is not available for prime shipping.

In addition to the fast shipping, customers also know that items that are shipped via Prime will have the same return policy as items that are sold by themselves.  

What this means is that customers can be extremely confident that their items will arrive exactly as described and when expected.  In the unlikely event that their expectations are not met, then they know that Amazon’s customer service will get the issue resolved for them.

The extreme confidence that customers have in the program are 2 major benefits that will help your items to sell faster.

The other key benefit that I will mention is that Amazon does most of the heavy lifting when you use the Fulfillment by Amazon program when selling on Amazon.  You are able to ship items to Amazon in bulk, and they handle getting the items to the individual customers.

Fulfilling Your Own Orders On Amazon (Merchant Fulfilled)

I mentioned above that there was another option when selling on Amazon that does not require you to use Fulfillment by Amazon. The other option is to “merchant fulfill” the items you sell on Amazon.  

This means that you will keep the items you have for sale at your location and when an order comes in, you will ship the item directly to the customer.  There are times when this can make sense, but 99% of the time using Fulfillment by Amazon will be a better option.

The main time that my business considers fulfilling our own orders is at the end of Q4 when there isn’t time to get an item shipped to an FBA warehouse in time for the item to be listed and sold before the holidays. In this case, it sometimes makes sense to ship our own items to enable customers to get their products before Christmas by eliminating the shipping to Amazon step and the processing time that comes with it.

So “merchant fulfilling” is an option, but for the remainder of this post, we’ll focus on selling on Amazon using the FBA program.

Now that we have an overview of how the process works, we’ll get into the details of how to set up your seller account, how to know how much you will get paid for items that sell, how to find items to sell, how to price your items, how to get your items to Amazon FBA warehouses, and what you can expect once you have items for sale on Amazon.

How to Set Up Your Amazon Seller’s Account

In order to start selling on Amazon, you need to register for an Amazon Seller’s Account – this is separate from your regular Amazon account that you use to buy stuff.

This section will walk you through the process of registering for an account.

Step 1: Visit

When you click that link, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:

Set up your Amazon Seller's Account (

If you click the big “Start selling” button, you will begin the registration process for a professional account.

Your other option is to scroll down the page and look for this link:

Sign up for Amazon individual seller account.

As the link implies, this will get you an individual seller account.

Step 2: Choose between an Individual and Professional Account.

There are a couple important differences between these two account types.

The first is that the Professional account will cost you $39.99 a month while the Individual account is free. While each option involves additional fees, the Individual account has a $0.99 per item fee when your items sell that is not included on the Professional plan. So selling 40+ items a month automatically makes the Professional account the better deal.

The other big difference is that you have to have a Professional account to get the “Buy Box”.

Like we discussed earlier, being in the Buy Box means being the seller whose inventory is sold when a customer clicks the default Add to Cart or Buy Now buttons on Amazon:

The Buy Box buttons
Being “in the Buy Box” means your inventory will sell when a customer clicks one of these buttons.

If you have done any shopping on Amazon, you can probably imagine how important the buy box is to sellers. Many people don’t even realize that you can chose to buy from other sellers by looking for the “Other Sellers On Amazon” box:

Some items will have dozens of additional sellers!

On top of this benefit, the Professional plan unlocks the ability to apply to sell additional categories and products. Each product on Amazon has a category (and subcategories), and many categories are restricted to new sellers until you apply.

You can see a products main category on the product page by looking in the ‘Product information’ box:

Comment below if you’d like to guess which product this is based on the category rankings. Everyone who submits a guess by the end of November will be entered to win a free month in the BSL BOLO Group (even if you are already a member). Don’t cheat, it’s too easy!

You can learn more about which categories need approval and which ones don’t by visiting this page on Amazon.

So to recap, a Professional account:

  • Costs $39.99 a month.
  • Removes the $0.99 per item sold fee.
  • Unlocks the ability to earn the Buy Box.
  • Unlocks the ability to apply for to sell in more categories.

In the long run, it will definitely make sense to have a Professional account.

It is okay to start with an Individual account if you don’t want to spend the $39.99 and just want to test it out, but keep in mind that your sales will be limited due to not being able to get the Buy Box. You can upgrade to the Professional account at any time though, so as usual, starting now is better than waiting, even if that means not getting the Professional account yet.

Step 3: Complete the account set-up forms.

The first page that you will come to looks like this:

Setting up your Amazon selling account.
Setting up your Amazon selling account…

A lot of people see the “Legal name” box and assume they need an LLC or some other incorporation status. While getting an LLC is something I recommend setting up over time, you are perfectly fine to just enter your own full name here. This is what Amazon says about the subject:

You’ll notice that you have to check a box that says “I have read and accepted the terms and conditions of the
Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement”.

While it can be tempting to just check that box and keep on going, I recommend taking the time to actually read the document. Yes, it is long and boring. It is also important.

Once you do that, you’ll be asked for your address, display name, and phone number. They’ll also ask you for a website, but you don’t actually need one and can leave this blank:

After this, you’ll need to fill out some bank account and tax information, and then ideally that’s it – you’ll officially have an Amazon selling account. In rare instances, you will get a message that they have decided to not issue you an account or need further information. It is important for the information you supply to match – meaning that your name and address are the same across the application and the forms you submit.

The Amazon Seller App (Free Profit Calculator)

Once you set up your seller account, the first thing that I would recommend doing is to downloading the Amazon Seller App.

This is a free app that is available directly through Amazon that gives you product details like the selling price, fees, and other details for any product that is available on their website. The app is synced directly to your account, so it will also tell you if you are allowed to sell a given product or if it is restricted.

To find a product, you can search for it by name or UPC, or you can use the camera on your cell phone to scan the barcode of the product. The app will then show you the pricing and fee information for that product.

Amazon Seller App product screen for Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s DIY Tool Kit

This ability to scan products will come in very handy when performing retail arbitrage to acquire products.

If you haven’t yet set up a seller account and want to look up the profitability of an item, you can use the Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator to get the fee details on any item.  Here’s a look at an example product:

Screenshot of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Revenue Calculator

If you go to the Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue calculator, you will be able to search for any item that you are considering selling on Amazon.  You will then enter the price (red arrow), how much it will cost you to ship to Amazon (black arrow), and how much the product costs you (green arrow).  The calculator will display exactly how much you will be charged in fees, and most importantly at the bottom will display exactly how much profit you can expect to make on that item.

I recommend running every single item you sell on Amazon through this calculator or a different tool that serves the same purpose.  With calculators like this available, you should know exactly how much you can expect to profit on every item that you are selling on Amazon.

With the Seller App, calculating your profit is as simple as scanning the item and entering your cost to buy. The app does all the rest, including fee calculations.

Now that we have a tool that shows us how the fee structure works when selling on Amazon, we need some items to sell.

Finding Products to Sell on Amazon

There are three main ways to find products to sell on Amazon. They are:

  1. Retail Arbitrage
  2. Wholesale
  3. Having your own products manufactured

These are all strategies for obtaining NEW items to sell. While you can sell used items on Amazon, most buyers use it to buy new items and I’ve had more success selling used items on eBay or local marketplaces. Flipping used items is still a great way to make money, I just don’t recommend selling those used items on Amazon.

So when it comes to getting your first items for Amazon, you’ll have to choose which of these strategies makes the most sense.

Many people will try to convince you to start with wholesale or private labeling. Wholesaling involves partnering with existing brands and their distributors to get bulk orders of their products to sell. Private labeling involves having products manufactured with your own brand on them.

The big appeal to these strategies is the potential return and the minimal time requirements once you have everything set up and running. The problem with these strategies is that they take a lot more experience and capital to get started with.

So while I think it makes sense to use these strategies, I also think it makes a lot more sense to start with retail arbitrage and work your way up to them as you gain the experience and capital necessary.

There is no barrier to success with retail arbitrage except the investment of your time. If you are willing to do that, retail arbitrage offers a clear path to developing the experience and capital needed for wholesale, which in turn prepares you for developing brands of your own.

This is the essence of my Stairway to 7 Figures methodology:

When others tell you that you skip ahead to the higher-level strategies and that it will be easy, be skeptical!

How to Get Started With Retail Arbitrage

To quickly recap, retail arbitrage is one of the best ways to get started selling on Amazon, as the initial investment is low, it allows you to learn the process, and there is a good deal of money to be made.

The experience gained through retail arbitrage also provides extensive knowledge about how selling on Amazon works, which can be applied to other inventory sourcing methods in the future.

To go started with retail arbitrage, you need to set up your seller account so that you can have access to the Amazon Seller App.  As discussed above, this will provide you with the information that you need to see if an item is worth buying to resell.

After you have the app installed, go to a local big box store in your area.  Wal-mart, Target, Home Depot, Toys R Us, Kmart, Walgreens, or any similar store will work.  Once you are in a store, look for a clearance section or aisle similar to this:

Walmart Clearance Section - Getting started with Retail Arbitrage

This example shows a Walmart clearance aisle.  Once you are in this aisle you want to open the Amazon Seller App, and use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode of the products in the clearance aisle.

After scanning a product, you should see a screen like this:

Amazon Seller App - 1st Screen

On this screen, you want to check for 2 things.  The first is to make sure you are eligible to sell the product on Amazon under the selling eligibility section.  The second is the sales rank shown in the top left-hand corner.

On this particular item, we can see that the sales rank is 60 in the toys category, which is an exceptionally good rank.  The sales rank is a piece of information that Amazon provides that gives us an idea of how fast an item is currently selling on Amazon.

A full discussion of sales rank is beyond the scope of this post, but it’s important to know the lower the number the better.  For your first few trips, I’d recommend looking for sales ranks that are lower than 250,000.  As you gain more experience you can definitely tweak this, but ranks under this range are a good starting point.

If the app shows that you are eligible to sell the item, and the rank is less than your threshold, then you want to check and see if the item will provide a desirable return on investment.

To do that, click on the arrow on the far right of the app in the “gross proceeds” section.  Once you do that you will see a screen like this:

Amazon Seller App - Fee Details

You will be able to enter the selling price, your cost per pound to ship to Amazon (I use $0.50/lb), and how much you can purchase the item for.  In this example, I’m showing that I can buy this item for $10.

At this stage, there are 2 quick checks that you want to go through.  The first is to see if the net profit number shown at the bottom is higher than your minimum profit threshold.  Typically I recommend setting this at around $3 per unit.  This means that you won’t buy any items that you will make less than $3 in profit on.  Having a potential net profit of less than $3 per unit does not allow for very much upside and a small drop in price can wipe out your profit.

If the item meets your minimum profit threshold, then you will want to calculate a return on investment percentage.  You can do this by dividing the net profit by the cost of the item.  In this case, it’s $7.13 divided by $10, so the return on investment percentage is 71.3%.

When you are first getting started selling on Amazon, I recommend looking for items with a return on investment percentage that is higher than 50%.

So this particular item meets all of the criteria for purchasing the item and it should be purchased.  For any item that fits all of the purchasing guidelines, I recommend purchasing up to 6 of the item.  In this example, if there were 6 copies of this game on the shelf for $10 each, then I would buy all 6 of them.

Then it’s time to repeat this process on the next item, and the remainder of the items in the clearance section.  When you are first getting started, I recommend scanning as many items as possible.  As you gain more experience, you will likely be able to avoid scanning certain items that don’t appear viable for resale.  When first getting started though, I recommend scanning as many items as possible.

I recommend going through the process of determining if an item is viable for resale in the order mentioned so that you can quickly move on to the next item for any items that don’t fit your buying criteria.  As soon as you see that an item doesn’t fit one of your criteria, move on to the next item.

Before long, you will find an item that fits your guidelines and you are eligible to sell – and you’ll officially have your first item to sell!

Once you start finding products, a good way to make sure you find even more is by joining our BSL BOLO group. This is a group dedicated to sharing profitable retail arbitrage finds with each other, including the exact products, stores, and profitability.

All members are required to share at least one qualifying deal each month, so you should have a good grasp of how to find products on your own before joining. Once you do, this group is a great way to maximize the amount of products you are getting each time you go sourcing.

You can read more about the BSL BOLO Group here.

How do I price the items I am selling on Amazon? 

Now, that we have some items that we want to sell on Amazon, we need to know how to price them.  When selling on Amazon using the Fulfillment by Amazon program, I recommend pricing at a similar level to the other Fulfillment by Amazon sellers on the listing.

Let’s take a look at an example (click to enlarge):

Filtering Amazon Listings for Other FBA Sellers

To get to this screen, view all of the available offers for the product.  This can be done by clicking the link that says “used & new (#) from” that will display on just about every product for sale on Amazon.  The # field will be filled in with the number of sellers on that particular listing.

Now for the screenshot above, you can see that I filtered the view for only prime eligible items and items in new condition.  I recommend filtering the view to match the condition and fulfillment method of the item you are pricing.

For the item in the screenshot above, I recommend pricing between $41 and $41.41 if you are looking for a quick sale.

When pricing your items, I do not recommend pricing below the offers you are competing with.  Pricing below your competition can often start a chain reaction of lowering prices and can quickly erode margins.

On the more aggressive side, I recommend matching the lowest price of the same fulfillment method.

On the more conservative side, I’d price between $0.01 and 1% higher than the lowest price of the same fulfillment method.

As a bit of a side note, if you are willing to wait a while for the item to sell, I would price the item between $46.52 and $49.95 in this example. The reason for this is there are a few different “gaps” in the prices these items are selling for.  Whenever I am pricing an item, I will look for significant gaps in price between the offers, and if there’s a decent gap, then many times I will price at the higher end of the spectrum to see if I can make some additional margin on the product I am selling.

Pricing is something that you will definitely get a better feel for as you gain more experience selling on Amazon, but these general guidelines should be a good starting point.

How do I list my items for sale and ship them to Fulfillment by Amazon Warehouses? 

Listing your products for sale and getting them sent into Amazon warehouses is your next step once you have sourced your first products.

This step overwhelms many people, but it’s actually very easy once you’ve done it once.

My new E-book, Get Your First Sale on Amazon, covers the entire process of creating a listing – with screenshots of every step. The listing and shipping process is covered on pages 23-38.

You can get a copy of it by clicking here.

Launching Your Business…

This has been a very long post – if you’ve stuck around and read it all, it’s clear to me that you have a strong desire and motivation to start a business.

Whatever is motivating you to want to make this change, I strongly encourage you to commit to taking action as soon as possible. Reading a single post is not enough. Planning on trying some stuff later is not enough.

Achieving the progress you are after requires change – and the first thing you’ll need to change is your own habits. Do not procrastinate – doing so will just lead to being in the same spot you are now a year or two down the road.

The best next step is to watch that free presentation I mentioned earlier on the 7 keys to building a 7 figure business where you’ll learn more about the Stairway to 7 Figures and the rest of the strategies I’m using to continue to grow my own online retail business.

I get a lot of emails and messages from people who tell me they either want to try this and don’t know what to do or that they’ve started trying it but got stuck. When I ask if they’ve watched this presentation or taken any of my courses, 9 times out of 10 the answer is “no.”

The path forward is simple (if you will allow it to be) yet difficult (because it takes a lot of time and effort). There is no good reason to make it complicated too – I’ve already traveled the road you are interested in, and I’m willing to share all of the things I’ve learned – and most of them for FREE!

So if you haven’t done so yet, please watch the presentation! You can do so here.

Once you do that, there are a variety of other training programs and services I offer like the BSL BOLO group and Online Retail Pro, an in-depth course where I share every last tip and tactic I have to offer.

These are great ways to grow your business faster and bigger, but the most important thing is that you start.

Depending on your situation, that may mean taking on the flipping challenge, following the instructions in this guide, or enrolling in advanced training and coaching – but the most important thing isn’t how you start, it’s that you start in the first place. If you do that and commit to being successful, everything else has a knack for falling into place.

Closing Thoughts

Throughout this post, we’ve covered the bulk of what it takes to start selling on Amazon.  I’d like to close with a few tips and thoughts that I think may help you based on my experience going through the process before.

The first thing that I would say is that if selling on Amazon sounds good to you, commit to giving it a shot as soon as possible.

You can test the retail arbitrage strategies that are laid out in this post in just a few hours, and going through that process should be eye-opening.  Some people love it, and others can’t stand it.  If you dedicate a few hours to it, you’ll know how you personally respond.

There’s no reason not to try this week.

The other main thing that I would say is to set realistic expectations.  Selling on Amazon, particularly via retail arbitrage, takes some work on the front end.  If you are going to go for it, be willing to put in the necessary work.  The effort can definitely pay off.

Hopefully, this post has answered most of your questions about how to sell on Amazon and gives you a better idea of what selling on Amazon really means.  Although this post is pretty comprehensive, it’s likely you still have more questions.  

Ready to Get Your First Sale on Amazon?

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Let me know in the comments below, what other questions do you have about selling on Amazon?

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324 thoughts on “How to Sell on Amazon: Get Your First Item Listed This Week”

  1. Hi Ryan,
    I opened a Seller account following the steps of the post but my account was suspended just after I opened. I already sent the documents that they asked and they continue sending me the same message, requesting documents to verify my identity. I already sent all the utility bills (electricity, water, internet) showing proof of address, but they continue replying that my documents could not be verified. can you help me? I’m very interested in starting at retail arbitrage and join your course for beginners.
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Rafael,

      Thanks for your comment. I would recommend making sure that the documents you send to Amazon match exactly to what you put into Amazon.

      For example, st vs street or apt vs apartment, or any abbreviations can cause problems. My recommendation would be to go over this very carefully before resubmitting. If you submit exactly what they ask for then typically you won’t have any problems.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  2. Ryan, I live in the Seattle are the very home of Amazon. My question is can I deliver inventory of my sell items directly to a Amazon warehouse in my area personally myself for free and not use another shipper at a cost? Thank you for all the great info.

    -Mike B.

  3. Hi Ryan,

    I hope you’re well! I am 16 and from the UK, I love business ideas and have a bit of money that I have saved to invest (£5,000). Is that achievable at 16?

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Bobby,

      Thanks for the comment. Great to hear you are interested in starting a business at 16! I definitely think it’s viable for a 16 year old to sell on Amazon, and you are starting with plenty of startup capital to get things moving. The only catch is that, in the US at least, you have to be 18 to have a seller account on Amazon. So you could potentially partner with a parent, older friend, or family member to see if you can find a mutually beneficial way to get started.

      Alternatively you could likely start selling on local marketplaces, as I don’t believe they have the same restrictions. There are certainly ways to make it work and get started at 16, it’s just a matter of making sure it’s legal in your country.

      Best of luck to you getting started!


  4. Hi,

    Would like to ask if drop-shipping is available in Amazon?
    Like, I will post items (that are not on hand yet) then will send items to Amazon using FBA once the buyer ordered from the items that I have posted in Amazon?
    Will that possibly work?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Thanks for your comment.

      What you have mentioned wouldn’t work as if you are using Amazon FBA the items won’t be for sale until they are on the way to Amazon.

      What you can do though is sell your items merchant fulfilled, and then as customers buy them, have them shipped to the customer from your supplier.

      Let me know if you have additional questions on this.


  5. Ryan,

    THANK YOU. Thank you. Thank you. This information is going to help me be a stay at home mom. That alone is priceless. Wishing you many blessings.

  6. Hi Ryan
    Can you please clarify this for me:
    Do I register and list my products? or I register and wait for my products to reach Amazon ware house before I list them?

  7. Hi Ryan,

    I am getting confused about the difference and purpose between the Amazon Revenue Calculator and the Amazon Seller app. I see that the Revenue Calculator has the camera for the bar code, and then it tells you in steps how much profit you can make.

    So what is the Seller app for?


    1. Hi Wendy,

      The 2 do basically the same thing. The difference is the FBA Revenue Calculator is better used on a desktop computer, and the seller app is best used on a phone.

      Best Regards,

  8. I have inventory to sell from a business I am closing. I cannot afford to store it all but also have items that I only have 1 of. How does that work with the Amazon fullfillment program? I am just leary for some reason. I would be happy to get cost for these items plus the cost of listing etc. I am trying to figure out if this is feasible before my husband just throws it all in the trash. We are an off-road business with over 150k in inventory that we are sitting on and we are closing.

    1. Hi Kathleen,

      Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear you are in need of closing down your business.

      With the Amazon fulfillment program, you can send in 1 of a single item, that’s not a problem.

      Depending on the type of item, it could be viable. With as much inventory as it sounds like you have, I’d definitely explore all options and see what you can do to recoup some of the capital!

      Best Regards,

  9. Madonna Beyrouthy

    can I sell on amazon a book I wrote recently and printed few copies? can I do that personally or is it restricted to registered as a company or publisher?

  10. Thank you for your informative post.
    I am trying to sell Cow Leather (genuine raw material without any brand name or barcode) that I bought in retail store in Korea.
    Regarding the process of listing, because the Leather that I am trying to sell does not have barcode or price listed, can I just go ahead and send those leathers to Amazon Warehouse with the price that I want to sell?
    Or is there any other processes I need to worry about?
    I am sorry for this confusing question, I am as confused about the FBA process as my question here.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jick,

      Thanks for the comment. This post covers how to sell existing products that are already listed for sale on Amazon.

      For something like what you have it would be a slightly different process. You’d need to create a listing for the product on Amazon, and part of this would require obtaining a UPC. UPCs can be obtained from

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  11. Thanks for the post. We are an independent card game maker and have just sent our first FBA shipment which is now live. FBA is really easy to use.

    But do you have any tips on getting your items found?

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      This is a good question, and one that I will plan on adding to my list of posts to create. Keep an eye out for this on the blog in the future!

      Best Regards,

  12. Hey there, I really enjoyed this post (and some of your other ones too). I’m definitely feeling inspired.. I already made the Amazon Sellers Account and I plan on spending my tomorrow hunting for clearance items in the local Walmart. I’m a little lost on the tax protocols though… I’m new to this entrepreneurial world and have no idea how to handle taxes. Any advice on where to get educated on this matter? Thanks.

    1. Hi Chase,

      Thanks for the comment.

      When it comes to taxes, I’ve written about this a bit when it comes to sales taxes. You can use the search feature on the blog to find those.

      A good general rule to start off with is to keep good records of everything and this will make life much easier for all types of taxes.

      Let me know if there are more specific items you have questions on related to this.

      Best Regards,

  13. Ryan,

    Just curios, when amazon is paying you are you set up as an LLC or some other type of business? Or are you simply getting directly paid by Amazon?


    1. Hi Lucas,

      You can read about the business structure I use in this post.

      For your other question, Amazon will deposit funds to any US bank account whether it is a personal account or a business account.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  14. Hi Ryan.
    Can you tell me about shipping lables.
    Do i need a shipping lable for the items i will send to Amazon?
    How are the lables produced and where does the information come from?
    Also, if i find a profitable item say a board game, won’t i look kind of silly and obvious walking up to the counter with 10 board games, just seems kinda weird.
    thx Ryan.
    Ralph; Ontario Canada.

    1. Hi Ralph,

      For shipping labels, you will print these out as you go through the process of creating an FBA shipment. Amazon gives you all of the information you need, and you can download them directly from Amazon.

      On your board game question, the answer is yes that might look a little silly. But it’s part of the process 🙂

      Best Regards,

  15. The shipping to Amazon cost is something I don’t understand.
    Where or how can I know what will be the price to ship to Amazon?

    1. Hi David,

      In my business we average about $0.50/lb to ship to Amazon. When you are buying shipping labels through Amazon for your boxes you will see the cost at that time, so you will know the cost before you ever have to pay the shipping.

      To be safe you can estimate high on the shipping cost initially, and then once you’ve done a few shipments you can calculate the rate you are actually paying and use that for future estimates.

      Best Regards,

  16. Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for taking the time to do this blog. This is something I have been interested in for over a year now but didn’t know where to start!

    How important do you think it is to have a diverse inventory? Or does it not really matter as long as the items fit the criteria you laid out in this post?


    1. Hi Kolby,

      Thanks for the comment. This is a very good question.

      I think that it’s quite important to have diversified inventory as you scale your business. When you are first getting started you don’t have to worry about this quite as much. For example, you might be starting with $100 and find 2 different items to buy to resell, one costing $65 and one costing $35.

      In this example, it would be very diversified, but I don’t think this is a huge problem as you are starting with a relatively small amount of capital. So in a nutshell I wouldn’t worry about it too much when first getting started.

      As your business grows then I think it’s much more important. For example in my business, I don’t want any single source or product line under a single brand of products to be more than 20% of my inventory at a given time. This includes wholesale purchases as well. By doing this it ensures that if one source of inventory goes away my overall business will still be just fine.

      In certain circumstances I think being less diversified than my business is now makes sense. It really all boils down to the risk/reward of the opportunity at hand.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  17. Thank you so much for all of this life-changing information. You are an angel, and thank you for helping me figure out a business I can do for real. It is SO appreciated.

  18. I am planning to sell some items in amazon, In-order to list the items, do we have to take the pic/image of the item and upload it ?
    If the item comes with different colors, should i upload a pic for each color.

    1. Hi Thara,

      If there is an existing listing for the item on Amazon, which is the method I share in this post, then you will not have to take pics of the item.

      If there is not a listing already on Amazon, then you will have to take pictures and create a new listing.

      Best Regards,

  19. Just finished reading the article and all comments. Thank you for being thorough and patient in your answers. My son and I bought our first products today and will list them tomorrow morning. Thank you for your guidance. Btw I also appreciate your level of integrity with your answers.

    Have Wonderful Day!

  20. Hello im a yound adult who is looking to start a business and wanted know if in your opinion is would be a good idea to start selling at a young age?

  21. Hi Ryan,
    I was wondering for example what if i do buy 10 brita filters and sell all 10? What is the next move, keep buying the same item that just sold out or move onto a next item? Or keep buying the same item and also buy new items if it’s going well? Thanks!

    1. Hi Daniel,

      If you can keep buying and selling the same item, that is an ideal scenario. So if you have access to more, I’d buy them to resell. I’d also keep looking for more items to sell too. So if you sell out, your next moves should be 1) look to buy more of the same item and 2) look for additional different items you can sell as well.

      Best Regards,

    1. Hi Reza,

      You will have to list an item for sale on Amazon and then you will have a label available with an Amazon bar code on it.

      If you need a UPC, then I recommend buying it through GS1.

      Best Regards,

  22. Thank you so much. This is the most complete and no noncence information I’ve read on getting started in the Amazon selling business. Outstanding work.

  23. Hi Ryan,

    Awesome content and its very generous of you to share all your experiences here for FREE. As I am getting ready to start my arbitrage journey, I have 2 questions.

    1. While explaining the factors which could possibly lead to buy box, in addition to price and fulfillment method you also mentioned ‘ your feedback’. My question is how, as a new seller we have enough feedback to make it to buy box?
    2. Once sent to Amazon, if the products are not sold for several months, what Amazon does with them? Can we request to ship it back to us so we can try selling them somewhere else?

    I appreciate all your help!


    1. Hi Ghazala,

      Thanks for the comment. On your questions:

      1. As long as you are setup as a professional account you should still be able to be seen in the buy box. Over time as you build up history you should be displayed in the buy box more and more as well as your metrics are built up.

      2. You can request them back at any time and the removal fee is generally $0.50 per item.

      Best Regards,

      1. Hi Ryan,

        Thank for your quick reply. It makes sense. I was wondering how your coaching program works? I tried to request more info by submitting my name and email, but my request didn’t go through. I tried a few times. Can you please give information about private coaching? Thanks once again

  24. Hello Ryan, I have spent most of this evening on your website reviewing the Amazon Arbitrage program. Thanks so much for the information and I am going to move forward and start my online business. Just a real quick basic question: Do you suggest creating a completely new Amazon Seller Account or just adding to my personal Amazon account? Take care and I’ll be looking forward to talking to you in the future.


    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the comment. If you have never had a seller account before, then my recommendation would be to create a new account to use.

      If you have ever had a seller account before, then I would use the account that has the prior seller account.

      Best Regards,

  25. A very detailed post there and perhaps one of the most comprehensive guide I have ever read!! I am going to give the retail arbitrage concept a trial.


  26. Hi Ryan,
    I am completely new to selling on Amazon (except for a few textbooks from college). I have read several posts and started to do some research to see if it would be something I could do. I am already a bargain hunter in general so I figured I would give it a go. I picked up my first couple items yesterday using the sellers app and thought I did well. (2 Huffy Kids Scooters $7 each selling on Amazon for $27) Now, I am not so sure since shipping fees are well above what I figured. Do you have any posts about general shipping and what to expect. I won’t make any money shipping these items myself nor using FBA since pricing was so high for shipping. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Thanks for the comment. In regards to shipping to FBA I do have this post, however the situation you mentioned with 2 relatively large and heavy items will be a bit of an outlier.

      In general most boxes will cost an average of about $0.50 per pound to ship to Amazon warehouses. For large items like those scooters if that’s all you are sending, I would estimate those would cost $5 to $10 each to send to Amazon.

      There’s not a calculator that I’m aware of for shipping costs to Amazon. In general though if you are shipping a lot of items you will be in the ballpark of $0.50 per pound. If you are only shipping a couple items, that’s when averages aren’t as useful, so I’d estimate in the $5 to $10 range when you are purchasing the items.

      Best Regards,

  27. Great article, thanks! The beauty of retail arbitrage is in it’s flexibility, to me at least. Being able to buy on credit and leverage the stores return policy almost make this a riskless transaction….however if you use FBA, can you request these items back if they don’t sell? If so, how quickly? I ask because it seems by utilizing FBA you will lose the ability to return items to the store.

    1. Hi DD,

      Thanks for the comment. With FBA you can request items back if they don’t sell, on most items you will pay a $0.50 fee to have it sent back to you. Generally it takes about a week to get it sent back.

      I don’t recommend returning non-selling items back to the store you bought them from. I have found that building relationships with store managers and store employees can be very helpful for getting access to future deals. Consistently returning items is not something that helps in building that relationship.

      Best Regards,

  28. Hi Ryan,

    I really need your help. I need step by step process in adding my own product. On how to get ASIN. I want to have my own brand. If you don’t mind please send me an email. Most appreciated.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Britney,

      If an item doesn’t sell then you can have it sent back to you for a fee of $0.50 for standard size items. This is known as creating a removal order. Most items will sell over time or with price adjustments, but the removal order is an option if it truly doesn’t sell.

      Best Regards,

  29. Hi Ryan,in the section “Deciding what to sell on Amazon”, the Canton product initially lists like this: $26.12 (low price) -$3.92(fees) = $22.20 (gross proceeds). Then you say, “click on gross proceeds” and then the fees change to $8.49. What’s the $3.92 fee? And what’s the difference between the 2 fees?


    1. Hi Danny,

      The $3.92 is the referral fee that Amazon will charge whether you sell it via FBA or ship it yourself (merchant fulfilled).

      The $8.49 is the total you will be charged if you sell the item via FBA. So in this case the FBA fees are $4.57 (8.49 – 3.92). These are the fulfillment costs Amazon will charge you to ship the item to the customer.

      Best Regards,

      1. Ryan,
        I thought if you’re signed up to sell via FBA ($39.99 a month), then Amazon wouldn’t charge you to ship your products? I understand the referral fee which is for all sellers no matter what. I just don’t understand how, and which, fees are calculated via FBA or merchant fulfilled.

        Thanks again,

        1. Hi Danny,

          I recommend checking out the FBA revenue calculator which is linked to in the post above. It shows the exact breakdown of the fees you will be charged for any item you will sell. Let me know if you have additional questions after looking at that.

          Best Regards,

  30. Hello Ryan.

    I appreciate that this blog is for selling existing items, but I cannot find the answer to my question anywhere else. I have a new item which I manufacture and package myself. The item does have a bar code on the packaging, but you mentioned having to add another bar code and essentially bypass the original. Is the purpose of this new bar code for Amazon’s internal tracking? And, my package does not have space for a label such as the one you demonstrated in the blog (30 labels per sheet). Is it ok if I shrink wrap my small package and place the new label on the shrink wrap? Last question: I looked at the next closest item to mine which is already for sale on Amazon. That listing uses the phrase, “In Stock” instead of posting a specific quantity. Why?


    1. Hi Sharon,

      On existing products, if it has a UPC / barcode, then you should use that to identify that. If you then print a label that will go over the bar code, that is for Amazon’s tracking / identification purposes. It would be fine to shrink wrap and then put the label on the outside. Just be sure the label will stay on.

      If you see just “in stock” on a listing, that happens when there is a lot of inventory available. So it’s likely that there are 1,000+ units available on the listing that just says “in stock.” The specific number comes into play when there are fewer in stock.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  31. Thank you for providing such a detail information. What is slow moving ASIN, I thought it is slow moving product but I noticed the sell ranking is very good. Do you recommend to sell this type of product.

    1. Hi Shaista,

      It’s an item that Amazon deems to be “slow moving.” I do still sell some of these items as I find that they will still sell even with this tag from Amazon.

      Best Regards,

  32. Hi Ryan:
    Everything I have checked for sale is priced so closely to the other sellers, I have found I can’t make a profit. I see many sellers are low balling the price in many cases. As you mentioned above, that hurts everybody’s profits. Is there any way to steer clear of these cases? I know you said if there are large price gaps, to sell at the higher prices. I suppose once the low ball sellers sell their stock, I have a better chance of a sale? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike,

      If the other sellers are priced at a level that allows for a profit then it’s still likely fine. If there’s no margin available, then I recommend either not buying, or potentially pricing higher if there are gaps as you mentioned. Generally though I pass on buying items that aren’t profitable at the time of purchase. I prefer to keep money invested in faster moving items to allow for compounding returns.

      Best Regards,

  33. Awesome post. Learned about you on the Side Hustle podcast.

    I set up my individual sellers account and am excited to get started, but I am being asked to provide a copy of my government issued national ID. Can you shed any light on what they are looking for? I did some research and there seems to be a lot of confusion and contradictory information out there.

    BTW, writing you from Virginia, USA.

    1. Hi Dave,

      It sounds to me like they are looking for a copy of your drivers license. So if you scan & send them a copy of that, I’m guessing you’ll be approved.

      Best Regards,

  34. Due diligence…

    I purchased your $299 training program as an element of due diligence regarding retail arbitrage and doing business on Amazon. I’m on my second run through the material and find it interesting, useful, and well thought out. However, I have a couple of questions. Online research reveals that a significant number of people believe that retail arbitrage on Amazon as a means for generating real income has become saturated, the opportunity has peaked and is on the the decline. Some obstacles cited include major brands blocking the resale of their products, too many people now in the business buying clearance products which narrows the money-making opportunity, and Amazon closing more and more categories.

    I am curious to get your thoughts. Do you believe that focusing exclusively on retail arbitrage is a viable way to make a living and grow a business (I don’t really want to get into the business of exporting directly from China)? What percentage of your business comes strictly from retail arbitrage? Do you think retail arbitrage using Amazon as a sales platform will be viable for the foreseeable future?

    1. Hi Justin,

      Thanks for buying the course! On your questions, I still see a lot of opportunity with retail arbitrage. You can read more in depth on my thoughts here. It’s from a year ago, but things are generally the same today.

      Retail Arbitrage is still about 50% of my online retail business, and I still thinks it’s a great way to get started. Over time I recommend expanding into other sourcing methods, but it’s great for the first year or 2 at least. even when expanding, I recommend first outsourcing retail arbitrage to that can continue to bring income for you. That’s what I have done personally, and I see it being viable for the foreseeable future as well.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  35. Hey there, I read a news article on you and it eventually led me to this site. I’m 25, I have a baby on the way and little income. So I’ve been slowly reading this site for the past few days and talking to my girlfriend about doing this. The one question that I still really have is, about how long does the average product take to sell with the guidelines you’ve provided? And also, how long does it usually take to start making a steady profit?

    1. Hi Curry,

      Thanks for the comment. On average you will through items in about 45 days. I see that everything sells through on average in 3 months, but items are selling the whole time, so about 45 days is average for me. A steady monthly profit comes after spending the same amount on inventory for 3 months in a row in my experience.

      Best Regards,

    1. Hi Chris,

      I started off as a sole proprietor, and then switched to an LLC after a few months. So the answer is that you won’t have to, but you should consult a legal professional to help determine what is right for your situation.

      Best Regards,

  36. Hi Ryan.
    Found you on MSNBC through twitter. Read some of your articles and am intrigued enough to test it out. I’ve been out of work since October and have considered Ecommerce. Looked at a few platforms etc… One issue I find is the difference between $Cdn and $Usd, it makes for tight margins.

    1. Hi Tyler,

      Thanks for the comment. In that case I’d look into selling on, and then you wouldn’t have to deal with any currency conversion issues.

      Best Regards,

  37. Hi Ryan,

    Thank you so much for your post. What happens when an item that is fulfilled by Amazon gets returned, is that a cost to you?

    1. Hi Lili,

      If you would like to get an item returned to you then you will pay a removal fee of $0.50 on most standard size items, and this fee includes the shipping cost too.

      Best Regards,

  38. Hi Ryan,

    I got a great deal on some clothing merchandise at an outlet store and after the fact realized it could be sold in condition other than “New”. (I know rule #1 , always check the seller rules!). My question to you is, if I label as used , but in the description say something to the effect of “never used, brand new, etc” is that violating any Amazon rules?

    Thanks , Ryan (also an accountant and seriously considering doing this full time thanks to your advice )

    1. Hi Ryan,

      It’s always fun learning rule #1 the hard way haha. And I wouldn’t recommend listing in that manner. If you put “new” in the description of a used item your listing is likely to get removed by Amazon. For new items like that I would try to either get approval to sell in new condition or look into selling on eBay.

      Best Regards,

  39. Hello, I do not live far from an Amazon center… Instead of mailing the products, can I just bring them straight there?

  40. Hey Ryan, I just came across your website and read your article. My GF and i would like to start selling on Amazon this year. We would like to do the Fulfillment By Amazon but we would like to buy in bulk on Alibaba and ship to a Fulfillment center. Do you have articles on that route of selling on Amazon? We would like to start with one or two products to see how it goes. Any recommendations or advice. Thanks again for the tips and taking the time to offer value to newbies

  41. If I first sign up to sell on amazon with a personal account, can I later change my mind and go to a professional account?

  42. Ryan, were you upside down when you began. I have just begun selling through FBA. To date I have one shipment available for purchase and three subsequent shipments in various stages that have not hit yet. I am breaking even in the earnings/costs ratio listed. I am not, at this juncture, showing a profit.

    The shipping costs exceed fifty cents per pound, by the way.

    I am learning a lot, but nervous as I am not covering my product costs. Were you upside down when you began? Is this to be expected at the outset?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Liz,

      Thanks for the comment.

      When I started I had negative cash flow, as I was spending more on inventory than was selling right away.

      My profits on actual sales though were positive from the start. So in terms of profits I was profitable from the start, in terms of cash flow this was negative at times in growth phases. I’d recommend reading through some of the early financial results posts on the site here to get a better idea of what the profits vs cash flow looked like.

      Best Regards,

      1. Thanks, Ryan. Yes, I was premature in my question. I was nervous, but my results since conform with yours. I purchased some duds :0(

        The shipping is more than fifty cents a pound.

        I have reviewed selling on Ebay for those items that I am restricted from selling on Amazon.

        Question: When I double-check sales results for an item on Ebay, it often reflects different stats than on Amazon. Do you think it’s a good practice to check both, or do Amazon shoppers have different buying patterns?? For example, I purchased a house alarm at Home Depot for $70 with tax. On Amazon the selling price was double, and the sales statistics fell well within the 250,000 figure, while Ebay shows multiple sales at prices close to and below my purchase price.

        Thank you,

        1. Hi Liz,

          Amazon customers have different buying patterns in my experience, so I recommend checking whichever marketplace you will be selling the item on. So in that example, I would try to sell the item on Amazon.

          Best Regards,

  43. Thank you! My husband has an LLC, should I use that business name when I set up my seller account? Or will I not be able to get a free seller account using a business name?

    1. Hi Marianne,

      You don’t need an LLC to get a free seller account, you can sign up with your social security number if you would like.

      In terms of putting it in the same LLC, I would be very careful with that. You likely would want the operations to be separate to further diversify risk. I’d consult a local professional on this though, as I am not a lawyer.

      Best Regards,

  44. you didn’t talk about VAT and CST no. because i stitch dress at home and planning to sell it on amazon. i don’t have CST or Vat. what should i do for that

    1. Hi Veena,

      This post is based on getting started in the US. If you are selling from the UK I would consult a local professional on the best way to get started and what the impact of VAT is.

      Best Regards,

  45. I find this blog very interesting, and would like to try out for myself. My question is when setting up the seller account it requires to have a routing number for a bank account. Would you recommend using your primary bank or start a new account in another? If starting a new account what bank would you suggest?
    I don’t mind transferring start up funds from primary to new account but it still worry’s me that if something were to go wrong like card fraud or any kind of financial issues. If starting a new account I would like to have both physical and digital way of accessing the account and to not have someone else co-sign on the account as well.
    I would eventually like this to be a full time job if I can make it that far, so I can quit my part time job working in a warehouse.
    I apologize for the long post but would like to see my life getting better in a long run.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for the comment. In a perfect world I recommend using a separate bank account as this makes the future accounting much easier.

      In terms of which bank, I currently do my business banking through Wells Fargo and have no complaints. I’d pick a local bank in your area that is easy to access as most of the big banks are able to offer a similar service.

      Best Regards,

  46. Hello,

    I have a friend who manufactures plastic garbage bags in overseas, and would like to sell them on amzon, in the US and Europe. I’d appreciate your help and advice on how best to do that.
    Thanks and best regards


  47. Hi Ryan, I just discovered your excellent blog.

    How do you deal with items that have the name of the retail store where you purchased the item printed on one or more of:

    1. The packaging, where the item can be separated from the package (e.g box of shoes)
    2. The tag attached to the item, e.g with a plastic cord
    3. The actual item, e.g. printed somewhere on the item


  48. Scenario, I have 2 totes of hot wheels cars, roughly 200 in original boxes, single and the 5ct box sets. Just take a picture of each and scan upc label and then ship to Amazon and that’s it. After signing up of course but that’s just to get me started n opened for business.

  49. Hello Friend;

    I’m from South America, Chile. Do you think that everything you say in your blog can work here? I am happy that you are succeeding. Very brave what you did. Thank you


    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I imagine something similar could be done in your country, but I don’t have any experience selling on Amazon from outside the US, so I can’t say or provide any definitive input.

      Best Regards,

  50. Hi Ryan,

    When scanning items and checking the gross proceeds, should I always evaluate items based on the matched low price? Or is it appropriate to check the other prime FBA listing prices in the seller app and do the math based on those prices? They tend to be priced higher, which would allow more products to pass the test as I’m searching. Thoughts?


    1. Hi Ann,

      If you follow the method that is outlined in this post, then you won’t need to take any pictures. They are already on the listings that are created by Amazon or by other sellers.

      Best Regards,

  51. Hi Ryan, loved your story. So I set up an account and sold 3 items, but Amazon suspended my account saying these items could possibly be inauthentic. I posted them as “New”, do you post the items you buy on clearance as New or Used?

    1. Hi Brandon,

      If they are truly new and unopened then I will post them as new on Amazon.

      If a customer complained about an item you sold that can cause an inauthentic claim, even if the items are authentic. If you submit your receipts to Amazon for the item, then I would anticipate you should be able to get your account reinstated.

      Best Regards,

  52. Hi Ryan,

    I am a new FBA user.Whenever I am trying to scan a toy, I am getting message as “Fulfillment by amazon required”

    What exactly does this mean?

    1. Hi Nitin,

      As it’s currently the holiday season, Amazon has some different requirements. You can read the guidelines HERE.

      Effectively what that notification means is that you have to sell it via FBA to be eligible to sell it this time of the year.

      Best Regards,

  53. Hi Ryan

    Thank you very much for all info and courage that you gave us!

    I set up my individual seller account (without monthly fee) in order to learn as much as possible and then maybe upgrade it into business seller account… I found note that I can use FBA after 90 days. This is because of individual seller account instead of business or it’s not connected at all in terms what kind of seller account it is? Is there any way of avoiding passive period of 90 days and be able to have individual seller account with right of using FBA?

    Thank you again


  54. Hi Ryan

    I really like reading all your useful hints and tips which will really help once I get going.

    I have one question though about a letter of authorisation which I’m being asked to provide,I’m not great at stuff like that.

    I’m in the UK and am just a sole trader,I have put in passport details and tax numbers but before I can actually sell I’m stuck with this,any advice would be great.

    Thank you
    Regards Ollie

    1. Hi Ollie,

      Thanks for the comment.

      My advice is to provide the information as long as you are comfortable with it. There’s generally not much wiggle room in what you can provide when Amazon requests something from you.

      Best Regards,

  55. Ryan,
    All great information, very useful, to the point and easy to understand. Appreciated and Thanks.

    Question –

    Which App do you use, Amazon Seller App, or , OAXRAY, or , Tactical Arbitrage??

    Have you tried any beside Amazon Seller App??

  56. Hello Ryan,

    Do you currently buy direct from any suppliers then have them ship to the Amazon warehouse for FBA? If so, how do you decide what products to buy and what suppliers do you use?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Wayne,

      I do buy direct from suppliers, but I don’t have any ship direct to Amazon at this time.

      I won’t be able to share the suppliers, and will consider doing a future blog post about how to determine what to buy from the wholesale suppliers.

      Best Regards,

  57. When registering to sell on amazon, where it asks for name, is that the persons name or the name of the store they will be selling under?

  58. Thanks for all the info. Question about your current state of business.
    As a one man show you are defiantly limited in what you can accomplish in one day as far as looking for items, prepping them, ect.
    Eventually the only solution is to hire other people of course.
    So my question is what do you have your employees do? Do they only take care of things at the warehouse while you go look for deals? Or do you send them out to look for deals as well?
    As you grow are you shying away from physically going out and finding these items vs. Buying online at low prices?

    1. Hi Dustin,

      I will plan on doing a blog post in the future that shares what I do in this business / what my team does and how it’s changed over time.

      The short answer is that my team is involved with every aspect of the business. Everything from buying to the back end account management.

      Best Regards,

  59. Hey Ryan, your posts and info are great, thank you for sharing. If one does not have a printer is there a way to send FBA shipments to AMZN using UPS or FedEx via their stores?

    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Brett,

      You do need shipping labels, so you at least need access to a printer. Most UPS and Fedex stores have printers you can print for $0.10 or less per page, so I’d look into potentially using one of the printers in their stores for the fee per page.

      Best Regards,

  60. Wow! So informative and helpful. Since you began by selling back college books in college (brilliant!), I thought this would be a quick and easy question.

    You must have shipped books USPS “media mail?” How much did you calculate for shipping per paperback or hardcover?

    Or did you ship Fed Ex or UPS instead?

  61. Hey Ryan – I heard you on SPI, love the blog, and am extremely interested in pursuing this myself. However, before I sign up for your course, I’m wondering if there’s something I’m missing. I’ve gone to Target, Walmart, Big Lots, and Home Depot – and after scanning hundreds of items, only one met your guidelines which provided a $3.16 ROI. I see your pictures of lined up carts outside Target and the van filled with Home Depot boxes.. and I wonder if there’s something I’m just not understanding. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

    1. Hi Todd,

      Thanks for the comment. I look at getting started in this business as kind of like fishing. When you first get started it takes a lot more time to get some good catches, and then as you gain more experience it gets easier and easier. So I look at getting started with FBA via retail arbitrage in a similar way.

      Every time you scan an item you learn more about the brand, what you can sell, what you can’t, and other factors. This experience over time leads you to become much more efficient over time.

      Also to be clear with the pics I share on this blog, this is after years of experience, so it’s comparing your first few trips to stores to what I have been doing for years. With more time and consistent effort I do think you would find quite a few items out there that you would be able to sell. The course does help give some ideas of how to approach stores, etc, but it sounds like you overall are on the right track by getting out there and taking action.

      Best Regards,

  62. Hi, Thanks for giving out all this information to help others. My question is since so many people seem interested in doing this could this market get over saturated? Were there a lot of other people doing this when you started or were you the pioneer in getting this started?

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for the comment. I had responded to a similar comment in the past so am copying a portion of my answer:

      I don’t think the market is over saturated at this point. I think as a general rule, it’s never too late to do anything. There are exceptions to this, but think of this, someone new becomes successful with just about all of these every day:
      -people continue to start successful blogs
      -people write successful books
      -people launch successful social media pages
      -people start successful brick and mortar businesses
      -people start successful affiliate sties

      Effectively people are starting successful versions of just about every business every day no matter how long a certain type of business has existed.

      So while it might not be as easy to do Amazon FBA (or any business opportunity that has been around for awhile) as it was a few years ago, I don’t think it makes it too late.

      As long as you are really willing to put in the work and differentiate yourself from the competition, then there’s still plenty of opportunity.

      Ultimately, I don’t think the window has closed for FBA. I will agree that with this higher level of competition that it’s not as easy as it was a few years ago, but there’s still a lot of opportunity out there in my opinion.
      I know many people who have started within the past year and are seeing great results already. I continue to find products available to sell on Amazon for a profit at large national retailers.

      As the number of sellers has been increasing, the number of buyers has been increasing as well. Not necessarily at a proportionate rate, but it does something to offset the impact.
      Overall, I think you have to put it a little more effort now as compared to a few years ago, but in my opinion there’s still plenty of opportunity left when it comes to FBA.

      So that might be a little bit more than you were looking for, but figured I would share the whole answer that I did previously as well.

      Hope it helps!

      Best Regards,

  63. Hi thanks for the earlier reply about shipping costs.
    I went shopping today and found a power cord. I used my app and it said I could sell it for a profit of approx $13.
    My question is if these things are on clearance, that means that nobody in the store wanted it, so why would Amazon customers want it? I bought some room wall decal stickers for $1 and with potential profit of $19. They have a selling rate of over 4 million. Are people going to buy this??

    Also, I am being paranoid maybe, but I felt like store employees were eyeing me suspiciously as I was scanning. Do you ever feel that way?

    1. Hi Amy,

      An item on clearance just means that no one wanted it locally. Generally there’s still going to be demand for the item online. If you follow the rank guidelines in this post you should only be buying things that people actually want.

      For store employees, I haven’t had issues in the past. They want to sell stuff and you want to buy stuff, so generally it’s a win / win.

      Best Regards,

  64. Hello Ryan,

    I think this is the future, as Amazon hasn’t even peaked yet. Anyway, how do I get my inventory directly from a supplier to Amazon warehouse for FBA orders? Is that something I have to pre-approve on the Amazon side via phone?

    1. Hi Sal,

      You would need your supplier to meet the prep requirements that Amazon has. If they can do that and have the required shipping labels, then you should be able to go direct from your supplier to FBA warehouses if you want to.

      Best Regards,

  65. If you have 5 items to sell and ship them to Amazon and it costs…say $25.00 in shipping do you just assume that you have $5.00 less for each item sold and take that out of ROI?

    How does that work if 2 out of 5 of those items aren’t heavy and therefore aren’t the reason that the shipping costs to Amazon are high?

    1. Hi Amy,

      I estimate shipping to Amazon warehouses at $0.50/lb, so it’s factored in to each item before I ever purchase it through the scanning app that I am using.

      So I would try to allocate it to the individual item in advance of purchasing to make sure it will actually be profitable.

      Best Regards,

  66. What a great post. I really appreciate the information and can’t wait to get started selling online. Today I came across some Barbie dolls that are for sale on Amazon but using the link you provided I wasn’t able to add it. They have other Barbie dolls listed but couldn’t find the ones on sale.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Julliette,

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

      What link are you referring to? and can you provide a few more details on what type of issue you were running into?

      Let me know and I should be able to help.

      Best Regards,

  67. Great read Ryan. I am having the worst time setting up the seller account. It keeps indicating my Credit Card is “Unable to charge”. I called and verified with my credit card to confirm no restrictions, and credit limit, as well as the details (billing address, expiration date, and zipcode). Am I missing a step here? And is there a phone number i can contact for support? The online FAQ’s are not getting me anywhere

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Sorry to hear that.

      I would try a different card if you have one. I’m not aware of a phone number, but there are some support options that are available at the footer of Amazon’s site, so I’d give one of those a shot.

      Best Regards,

  68. Hi Ryan,

    How much capital did you use in the beginning to get started? It seems it’s hard to invest $1,000 to try this. Would it work effectively with $25-50?

  69. I downloaded the scoutify app and the scanner did not work on anything I scanned do you know anything about it ? Or if there’s settings I need to change ?

    1. Hi Chris,

      Did you sign up for an InventoryLab subscription too? That is required to use Scoutify, and can be done HERE. If you have that in place then I would reach out to and they should be able to help.

      Just in case you were aiming for the free app, that one is the Amazon Seller App.

      Best Regards,

  70. Hi Ryan! Great article.

    Are there additional storage fee’s if your product does not move in a specific time frame, or is the product storage built into their fee’s? I can’t imagine them not charging additional storage over 30 days, but you never know!


  71. This is a great post! Thanks very much.
    I’ve always felt that my local UPS Store was a convenient but expensive way to ship. Is there a more economical way to ship to Amazon?

    1. Hi Fred,

      When you are shipping to Amazon you get their partnered UPS rates, so you will likely find them to very competitive. You can also use Amazon’s partnered rates for Fedex. Those are the 2 best options in my opinion when getting started.

      Best Regards,

  72. Ryan,

    You’re a class act. Thank you for sharing your story and making yourself available for questions for beginners. I hope it come back to you 10 fold.

    Do you know if my 13 yr old can begin this business? I want to strengthen her math skills and what better way to demonstrate it on a small scale than with money in her pocket. I would think a minor could do it provided they have a SS and follow all guidelines? Do you know if Amazon requires you to be over the age of 18?

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      I think that’s a great idea to get your 13 year old involved in the business. I didn’t know right off hand, so I did a little bit of research. It looks like for someone under 18, they are allowed to use Amazon services as long as they are doing it under the supervision of a parent or guardian. This link goes to the terms of service, and the “Your Account” section specifically mentions the requirements.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  73. Hi Ryan. I am going to put my all into this venture. I just wanted to know, do I have to buy a printer to print out my own labels or can UPS print them out for me? Wish me luck!

  74. Hi, Ryan. This is a great source of information! Thanks for taking out the time post. I actually saw your segment on GMA about two or three days ago, decided to do some further research on you and found this site. Your story inspired me to go for it! I’m all signed up with Amazon Seller, I invested in few items to sell just to get the hang of everything, and am about to send my first shipment out to the FBA facility today. I did have a question for you. When you first started out doing this, what would you say was the biggest challenge or obstacle you faced?
    Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      The biggest challenge right away was just figuring out what to sell. It took a good amount of time to find consistent sources of inventory, so that was probably the biggest challenge right away.

      Best Regards,

  75. How do you delete the scan item history in the app for iphone? Every time I scan a barcode it stays in the “History” list which keeps growing. I want to purge the unwanted scans. How do I clear the scan history?

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Certain brands and product types are restricted on Amazon so that is normal.

      If you want to get approval, you’ll want to click the request approval button next to the item you are trying to buy and see what is required. Most often you will need invoices from an approved distributor / wholesaler to get approved for the item on Amazon.

      Best Regards,

  76. Hello Ryan,

    ~ as a US citizen did you have to obtain vendor’s license to sell on amazon?
    ~ did you have to register your business?
    ~ if so, do you pay sales tax on purchases that took place in your state/county only?
    ~ does Amazon provide with 1099 or some other forms to be added to our annual tax return return filings?

    It’s just so confusing.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Love,

      1. This varies by city and state, so I won’t be able to provide an answer that applies to everyone on this one.
      2. I have a business setup as an LLC.
      3. Google “Online Selling Experiment Sales Tax” I have written 3 separate posts on this and how to handle it
      4. yes, they provide a 1099 at year end if you have sold over $20,000 in a year.

      Best Regards,

  77. Hello Ryan,

    Great read Sir!,question, are you still using the KDC 200 barcode scanner If not what are you using as of now?

    1. Hi Michael,

      I do still have that scanner but I rarely use it anymore. The cameras on cell phones have improved dramatically in the past few years, so I typically just use the camera on my cell phone now.

      Best Regards,

  78. Hi. Thank you for the great information, I am brand new and excited to start my own selling experiment. Quick question: I scanned an item but did not see a rank at the top left- is there a reason for this? Does it mean it it is unranked, or something else?

    1. Hi Ying,

      Generally this means that the item is unranked and has not sold before. Typically I won’t purchase items like that as they don’t have any signs of proven demand.

      Best Regards,

  79. Hello, love your site and all the info! Heard on SPI and want to try your $200 challenge. What about the 99 cent store and Costco/Sams Club? Are those good places to find stuff to sell on Amazon? Thanks again!

  80. Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for taking your time to respond to questions, it is very informative.

    Starting out using the ” Make your first $1,000 selling on Amazon Video ” , does this walk you through from start to finish step by step? Does this video show some good insight into how to go about retail arbitrage ? Also does it show you other ways to sell on Amazon in addition to retail arbitrage ?

    Thanks Ryan,

    1. Hi Ryan,

      I’m guessing with this comment you are referring to my course.

      The answer is yes to walking through step by step, and yes to how to go about retail arbitrage.

      It briefly discusses some of the other ways to sell on Amazon but in terms of sourcing methods it focuses on retail arbitrage. The overall principles, pricing, account management, etc, will all apply in the future as well regardless of which sourcing method you use.

      Best Regards,

  81. Hello, your site is very amazing! Thank you so much! What about buying items at Costco or the 99 Cent Store? Are there profitable, good finds at either of these locales? Cheers!

  82. Hi Ryan,
    I really enjoyed the information you have provided. I have a question. Do you have to have a business license and what do you have to do to keep the IRS happy?

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Glad you are enjoying the info!

      Every state and city has a different requirement. I would recommend checking into what the requirements are in your area. So the answer to your question is that it depends on where you live.

      In terms of keeping the IRS happy, you definitely have to pay taxes on any income regardless of if you need to setup a business license or not.

      Best Regards,

  83. Hi Ryan,

    You’ve mentioned you have looked into wholesaling options. Do you have any updates on that and/or tips on how to get started with that? I know you built your business from sourcing products yourself, but any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

  84. Hi Ryan,

    I am new to your site and find it very informative. I too am in the accounting field and have been looking for an opportunity to do something new. I do have a couple of questions for you.

    Do you utilize the Inventory Placement option from Amazon? If so, do you find it more cost effective?

    When you purchase items in retail stores that are on clearance, do you remove their sales sticker? What is the most effective way to do this so you don’t damage packaging?

    1. Hi Dolanna,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I don’t use the inventory placement service.

      I definitely do remove the stickers on the items. I like to use a Scotty Peeler to help remove the stickers. You can find a link to that, as well as a list of all the tools and services I am using to sell on Amazon, on my resources page.

      Best Regards,

  85. Hi, thanks so much for all the info, it’s truly very insightful and helpful! When I’ve purhased items from Amazon and they come from the fulfillment center and are either, damaged or delivered to the wrong address, they always immediately send me a replacement. Who eats that cost? Me as the seller or Amazon? Thanks in advance for reply!

    1. Hi KB,

      It would depend on who was at fault. If it’s damaged in transit then Amazon should be covering the cost, if it’s an issue with the product that you sold, then you will bear the cost of it.

      Best Regards,

  86. Future Amazonseller

    Nice blog. One question about your example for wall Mart clearance item. You entered 0.5/lb in shipping to Amazon warehouse.
    1. Is that standard shipping price.
    2. When completing FBA process on Amazon website do we pay shipping price online or pay at ups store.


  87. How long would you recommend leaving the item you are trying to sell in the warehouse before you choose to have it sent back to you? Thanks!

    1. Hi Martha,

      Normally I wouldn’t remove an item for at least 6 months. I will adjust pricing on items, but I don’t usually remove it for 6 months, although my goal is to sell through items faster than that.

      Best Regards,

  88. Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for the post and the providing the specific details in your technique.

    I have a quick question about selecting inventory. As part of my online research before heading out to the clearance isles of my local stores I’ve found some great deals through some basic googling where there is quite a large price difference for the product in one of the stores I’ve identified compared to Amazon. However, I’m concerned that if I can find the deal, then so can anyone else and they won’t buy my inventory, leaving me with stock I can’t sell (for a profit).

    For example (and easy numbers), I found a camera in the online clearance section of a national electronics store which has to be collected in person locally. The price of the camera is £100 in this retailer but is going for £200 on Amazon. It has a rank of circa 5000, a couple of sellers and non offering FBA. So following your advice above, this seems perfect! However, I’m just don’t understand why someone would buy this from Amazon without a quick Google first where they would find it cheaper.

    Could you please advise: is this deal a no go and is there a rule of thumb which states that if the product can be found cheaper elsewhere online then it’s not a worthwhile chance? Or could Amazon dramatically drop the price to match and cut out any margin? Any guidance around this would be really appreciated.

    All the best,

    1. Hi Chris,

      If it fits the guidelines in this post, then I would buy it. For the example you mentioned, I would buy 1 and then see how it goes. It doesn’t always make perfect logical sense, but my business sells items like that all the time.

      Best Regards,

  89. Hi Ryan,

    I had a question about the seller rating ? If I follow all of your steps outlined above, I find a toy, for example, I list it at the same price as the cheapest person selling the same item also using Amazon’s FBA, but it’s my first time selling, I wouldn’t have really any positive ratings or reviews, all the others would more than likely have a much higher rating, did this effect the products you chose to sell at the beginning? Seems like I’d be hoping for the guy not noticing I don’t have reviews to purchase my same item even if I match lowest price, or did these items just take longer to sell ?

    Thanks so much for your blog,
    I look forward to trying to see if I can do this

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I wouldn’t worry about it right away. We all started off with no feedback. There are people out there who are willing to buy items even if you don’t yet have feedback. I’d just make sure you take care of the customers that buy your items and the positive feedback will come.

      Best Regards,

  90. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!
    Is it required or beneficial to have my own website to sell in Amazon? What is the difference or requirements to sell as an individual and as a professional?
    Thank you

  91. Hi Ryan,
    I find you very inspiring and want to try to sell on Amazon. I like the idea of retail arbitrage but I am curious to know if it is important to peel off all of the clearance stickers off the item before you resell it?

    1. Hi Felicia,

      Thanks for the kind words. It is very important to take all clearance stickers off prior to sending to a customer. They don’t like knowing the price you paid as a general rule.

      Best Regards,

  92. I keep trying to register and is says I have an “incompatible account status” when I try to register at sellercentral and won’t let me register. Any idea why?

    1. Hi Mike,

      I can’t give official legal advice as it’s different for everyone’s situation. What I did though was setup a legal entity once I knew it was something I was seeing results with and wanted to grow further. So for me it meant setting up an entity about 3 months in.

      Best Regards,

  93. How do I put product information on amazon? Do I need to create or does it automatically shows up once I send merchandise to amazon? Also can I buy products from alibaba and ship them to amazon?

    1. Hi Kyong,

      If you are selling an existing product which is what this post is about, then you won’t have to provide very much information, but you will do that when you are listing your item for sale.

      For Alibaba, you could do that. I don’t recommend it right away, but if you build trust with a supplier it would be a possibility.

      Best Regards,

  94. Hi Ryan,

    I am a bit confused; your screenshot shows you have bought the item for $10 and made $7.13 net profit selling through amazon after all fees etc.. correct me if i’m wrong but shouldn’t the net profit be higher than the cost of purchase to have a good deal? it looks like you are gaining less than you bought the item for…

    Best Regards

    1. Hi Edwin,

      I think you are confusing net profit and net payout. The net payout is the total amount that I am paid for the item after Amazon fees. The net profit is the amount leftover after Amazon fees as well as the cost of the item. Hope that clarifies it, and let me know if you have further questions.

      Best Regards,

  95. Hi Ryan,

    Great post, very informative! Quick Question, what is the most cost efficient method to ship products to Amazon to maximize profits?



    1. Hi Brandy,

      Glad you enjoyed it. I recommend using either UPS or Fedex, both of these will be options when you are creating your shipment to Amazon. You can compare the prices between the 2 on the shipment creation screen as well to make sure you are getting the best price.

      Best Regards,

  96. How frequent is it to have items accrue a charge from the warehouse for sitting too long? How much should the “star rating” on Amazon be taken into account (does a 3.5 star item with 15 reviews move significantly slower thab a 5 star item with 50 reviews and how does that relate back to my first question and the warehouse charges)? Big thank you for all of your work on this!

    1. Hi Chad,

      If you are buying based on the guidelines talked about on this post, then you shouldn’t run into paying excessive storage fees very often.

      This post goes into some more detail on the storage fees. In terms of reviews, that’s not something that I rarely factor into sourcing decisions.

      Best Regards,

  97. I live in Canada, do you have any advice on how I can sell to the US market? Amazon Seller ask to ‘Select Your Market’ as the first step to using the app, would I be selecting the US instead of Canada? Thanks for your time!

    1. Hi Ash,

      I don’t personally have experience in this, but when you are setting up your account I would select whichever marketplace you would actually sell on. My guess is that getting setup in Canada first would be easier to get started, and then from there you could potentially expand into the US.

      Best Regards,

  98. I am looking at selling something that has good numbers, but bad reviews on the Amazon website. Should I steer clear, or what is the repercussion of selling something that gets a bad review? Will I have to refund? Replace?

    1. Hi Mark,

      Generally speaking I don’t pay attention to the reviews. A buyer is able to see all of the reviews at the time they purchase, so if they are still willing to buy even with bad reviews, that’s not a problem for me. So a product with bad reviews is potentially more likely to get returned, but the worst case scenario would be having to issue a refund.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  99. Do you suggest signing up with Amazon Seller Account with your personal Amazon Prime account or should you sign up with a different email to keep things separate?

  100. What if I am unable to sell the item in Amazon ? Can you please list out the downside of my item sitting in the amazon inventory for ever ?

    1. Hi Ravi,

      If you are unable to sell the item on Amazon you can have it sent back to you for about $0.50 depending on the size of the item, or you can have Amazon destroy it for $0.15.

      If you do have your item stay in Amazon warehouses for over 6 months, then you will be charged long term storage fees and are pretty significant. There are emails sent out to clearly communicate this that come directly from Amazon well in advance though so the long term storage fees wouldn’t be a surprise.

      For items that are in stock for less than 6 months you will pay a few cents per month in storage fees.

      So the realistic downside is paying a $0.50 fee to have the item sent back to you.

      Best Regards,

      1. Ryan,

        Once you have the item shipped back before the 6 months, can you send it back soon afterwards or are there restrictions on “resending” back to the warehouse? Thank you for all of your insight.

        1. Hi Bryan,

          There is generally a timeline for when you can send back in. It varies depending on the year, but typically if you remove an item due to avoiding long term storage fees, you have to wait a couple months at least before you can send the same items back to FBA warehouses.

          Best Regards,

  101. Sorry if this was somewhere in the post, but two questions: Does it now cost to sell on Amazon? I’m seeing posts quoting $39.99 per month? Second question: What if you warehouse your items via Amazon Fulfillment and the item doesn’t sell? What does Amazon charge to warehouse the item while you wait for sale? Thanks!

    1. Hi MB,

      You can still sell on Amazon without a monthly subscription fee, you can see the differences in the plan HERE.

      In terms of fees for items that are stored, you can find more details on that HERE.

      Best Regards,

      1. Because there is a detailed description of Buy Box eligibility for Professional selling plans, I am unsure whether the free individual selling plan also can be Buy Box eligible. You said in this piece that getting into Buy Box position is important, so if that is true and the free plan can’t get there (or can it?), wouldn’t that imply that paying the 39.99 for the Pro plan is the way to go??

        1. Hi Nick,

          To my knowledge an individual account is eligible for the buy box as well. Do you have a link that says otherwise? The main differences can be seen directly on Amazon HERE.

          Best Regards,

      2. Hi Ryan,

        As of April 17, 2018, there seems to be no option to choose between an individual seller and a professional seller account when signing up. Thoughts?

        Best Regards,

  102. I eventually want to sign up for your course and learn to sell on Amazon full time (and quiting my current job). Before I make this commitment, I need to know if having a low credit score will effect my business growing. We had unexpected medical bills (on credit cards) that has caused us to settle with banks. I have a checking account and 2 open credit cards now to get things started. Is the credit card that you use to register to sell on Amazon only for the monthly fee($39.99)? If so, then no worries. I have an $8000 limit on my credit card. If business starts booming for me, and I have to apply for a credit increase, I won’t be approved. If all my business is done through my checking account, then no worries. I’m assuming I’ll be purchasing products with money in my checking account and money received will come into my checking account. And hopefully, the credit card will be just for the monthly fee. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Ryan

    1. Hi Danny,

      Thanks for the comment. A low credit score shouldn’t negatively impact your ability to sell on Amazon. A credit card is actually only used as a backup payment method for everything on Amazon, so it only gets charged if you don’t have a balance in your seller account to cover it. So the first month or 2 it will charge to your card, but then from there you shouldn’t see any other charges.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  103. Thank you for this post. It is super helpful.
    I am brand new to selling on Amazon and am trying to figure out what I can start out selling. Are Toys and Games, Baby, and Home Goods the only categories that don’t require approval or are there others I am missing?

  104. I am in the early/research phase of starting an Amazon business/store, and came across your extremely informative article. Although it detailed how to obtain, price, and sell various (clearance) items, I am wondering if a similar process would apply to products that are the unique creations (inspirational cards/poetry) of the seller?

    Thank you in advance for your response, and the 411 that may accompany it.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for the comment.

      This post is primarily about starting by selling existing products. Some of this would apply to new listings / new creations, but that’s a bit of a separate process altogether. I will add a post about getting started with new products to my list of future potential blog posts.

      Best Regards,

      1. I am curious about how to obtain a Product ID to sell new products not already offered on Amazon. Can you help me with the steps?

  105. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you so much for your website and guidance. My question: When setting up an individual sellers account, what is the difference between “legal business name” and “unique business display name”? Can these names be changed after the account is created (like shifting name to an initial and last name)?

    I figure the “legal business name” is my actual name which is needed for payment and tax purposes. Still, I really don’t want my name out there since packages will have my mailing address on them and I am concerned about personal safety. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The legal business name is the name of the actual entity that your business will be operating as. This could be an LLC if you have one setup or could be your name if you are operating as a sole proprietorship.

      The display name, is the name that customers will see on Amazon when they are viewing items you have for sale.

      Both can be changed later if needed. Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  106. Hi Ryan,

    Very helpful article with most of the details covered. One question – If I am importing my product from other country, let’s say China, how do I deal with custom duty and custom clearance? Can I still make use of Amazon’s shipping partner (UPS) and they will take care of custom clearance since the shipment will be with them? or do I need to take care of it? I think some details about this are required to be covered?

    1. Hi Anand,

      This post is about specifically retail arbitrage and doesn’t go into the nuances of importing products.

      The short answer is that you will need to get them into the US first before getting to use Amazon’s partnered UPS rates. I would recommend using a freight forwarder to get the items into the US and then go from there.

      Best Regards,

  107. I want to sell on AMAZON, do I need a product to my own? It is possible to sell on AMAZON w/o physical Item. I mean just to promote other product to sell then I earn a commission?

    1. Hi Danilo,

      To actually sell on Amazon then you will need to have physical inventory that is available to ship to a customer. This doesn’t mean you have to ship it as you could drop ship or pay a fulfillment service, but you will need the inventory.

      If you want to just promote products in return for commission on Amazon, then I recommend checking out the Amazon Associates program.

      Best Regards,

      1. Hi I have question plz , I saw the fulfillment by Amazon Revenue calculator; so how it’s come the net profitability for me is 21 or the same for Amazon is 16,79. Less than me??????

        1. Hi Rana,

          Amazon is willing to sell items at a loss to provide a great deal for customers. So it’s possible that’s what you are running into in this scenario.

          Best Regards,

  108. Hello,

    I’ve been wanting to start in this business since the beginning of the year and your post really boosted a lot information and insight on how to get started so I thank you for that.

    However, I do have one question in mind.. Do you think buying items off of retailers like Alibaba is a good start as well? If so, I would like some tips on how to really go about it and just little niches to give me a push, so to say. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Lucy,

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Personally I’d recommend getting started with the retail arbitrage method that is outlined in this post. Then from there you could potentially do a test on Alibaba in the future. Going the retail arbitrage route will decrease the number of things that have to go right to see initial results.

      Best Regards,

  109. Hi – One question I have is regarding sales tax. How do we handle doing sales tax. I can’t seem to find any information on that.

  110. Hi guys. Just heard the interview on Pat’s podcast. I am jumping into it. So i spent the day hitting 4 different stores and I would say 85% of the time when i scan the bar code in the store it does not come up in the seller’s app. It did say i could create my own listing, but i was choosing pretty normal items. this was especially true for clothing. Any advice on this would be great. Thank you

    1. Hi Troy,

      Glad you are giving it a shot!

      Clothing is a category that requires a separate approval to sell in. I’d recommend either seeking this approval (same goes for other categories that require approval) or focusing on categories that are not restricted. Some of the main ones that you will be eligible to sell in right away include: books, toys, home improvement, home & kitchen, sports & outdoors, among many others.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  111. Hi-Love the information you are providing. What happens when the customer wants to return the item? And anything to be concerned with when it comes to taxes on the profits that amazon sends us?
    Thank You

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Any item that is fulfilled by Amazon will have the same return policies as if Amazon sold the item. So the customer is able to initiate a return directly through their own Amazon account if they want to return a product they purchased.

      In terms of taxes, this is definitely something to pay attention to. You should be paying taxes on the net profit your business earns from selling on Amazon.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

    1. Hi Priyank,

      Yes you can sell products manufactured outside the US. You will need to get a UPC for your product to be able to list it on Amazon. Once you do that you won’t actually need the barcode on the product as you can print labels for Amazon’s purposes directly through the platform.

      Best Regards,

  112. I just listened to you guys on the SPI podcast. It was very good and has sucked me in to the potential of online selling. This may be a dumb question, but I don’t see on this post or in the podcast anything about the Monthly Amazon Subscription fee. I was under the impression signing up would be free.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

      There used to be a free account for selling on Amazon, but that might not be available anymore. I’d recommend starting with the lowest priced plan that they offer, it will be either free or $39.99/month.

      Best Regards,

  113. Hi Ryan ,

    I heard you on SPI and was inspired to try this. Thank you for sharing your story and for providing a step by step guide on how to get started. However I am having difficulties determine how much it will cost me to ship products to Amazon? How did you get the .50?

    Thanks Again,

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast. $0.50/lb is the average based on what my business is charged and what we use to evaluate. You won’t know the exact charges until you ship the box to Amazon, but $0.50 should be very close. If you want to be very conservative, you could estimate $1/lb.

      Best Regards,

  114. Hi Ryan,

    My wife and I heard you on the SPI podcast and are getting started with our first set of inventory. I had a question on sales ranks. If we have high ROIs for specific items (100%), but the sales rank is higher (400K), what would you recommend? How strictly would you adhere to the < 250K sales rank criteria? Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

    1. Hi Sri,

      In cases where the ROI is higher it often does make sense to expand the sales rank guidelines. The guidelines that I recommend should keep you out of trouble, but they are by no means hard and fast rules. In any situation like this, I would usually test it out and see what happens as long as it isn’t a huge investment. The reason for this is you will learn much more by trying as opposed to not.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

  115. Great article and loved the interview on SPI podcast. Quick question, don’t you need a paid Seller Pro account to do FBA? I already have a seller account because I dabble in text book reselling, but it’s a free seller account. I am excited to get started and see where it leads!

    1. Hi Anna,

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

      In the past you could with a free account. I would try it with the free account, and if that doesn’t work for whatever reason, then I would upgrade to the paid account.

      Best Regards,

  116. Ok so we just started the Amazon business and we have a couple of items to list.
    The item in question populated as a bookshelf when it is a small pocket organizer. When we do post as a new item, the item’s UPC conflicts with another item (wrong item) on Amazon or can’t be found.

      1. Hi Jessica,

        In this instance, I would recommend opening a case with Amazon seller support to see if you can get the listings associated with the correct items.

        Best Regards,

  117. Great post and podcast recently guys! Appreciate the solid content. I had a question about shipping. I live in Honolulu, Hawaii and wanted to see how I can calculate shipping costs to the FBA warehouse. Is there a workaround if shipping is extremely high?
    Thanks, keep up the great work.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

      From Hawaii I am not sure if you get Amazon’s partnered UPS rates, but I would calculate the shipping costs through or Just input the size of the boxes you plan on sending and you should be able to estimate the costs. It will definitely be higher than shipping from the continental US, but should still be doable.

      Best Regards,

  118. Great podcast guys! Actionable and very real content.
    Question as I have never sold on Amazon. I live in Hawaii, how do I calculate shipping costs if I were to use FBA?

    Thank you, and keep up the great work

    1. Hi Matt,

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast.

      From Hawaii I am not sure if you get Amazon’s partnered UPS rates, but I would calculate the shipping costs through or Just input the size of the boxes you plan on sending and you should be able to estimate the costs.

      Best Regards,

  119. Hi Ryan,

    Thanks a lot for providing all this content!
    Quick question: Is it possible to start up this business from the Netherlands?
    Are there specific things I should pay attention towards?


    1. Hi Jimmy,

      Thanks for the comment. I know it’s possible to sell on Amazon’s European platforms, and I would imagine that would be a good option for testing it out. I’ve never sold on anything but the US platform, so I wouldn’t be able to provide advice on the best things to pay attention to when selling on Amazon from the Netherlands.

      Best Regards,

      1. Thanks for your reply Ryan, you are a true inspiration for me.
        I have studied your material and in your guide you recommended to use the “Amazon-Partnered Carrier (UPS)” as a shipping option.
        Is this option available on all platforms?

        Kind regards

  120. One thing I don’t see here is if it costs something to set up an Amazon seller account?

    If i just want to try this do i need to pay to become a seller? (I just sell one or two things, i could end up with a net loss)

    1. Hi Jamie,

      You should be able to sign up for a seller account for free. When you setup your account, you will want to use an “individual” account as opposed to a “professional” account.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

      1. I went to go sign up as an individual seller and they are still charging 39.99 a month just to sell things on Amazon. Am I in the wrong place as well or did something change?

  121. Hello!
    Found you on SPI. I plan to set up my Amazon seller account and get started. Your selling experiment is an awesome way to get started. I am super excited! Thanks so much for all of the info.


    1. Hi LaTasha,

      You are welcome! Glad you found the site, and let me know if questions come up along the way.

      Best Regards,

  122. I heard you on SPI, great interview. I found the episode very interesting and full of actionable advice. Thank you for that. I’m up in Duluth, I plan on doing this as a part-time business to start with. You have given me courage to get out there and do it. Thank you again!

    1. Hi Rashid,

      Yes, you can sell items with a quantity of 1. You can list any number that you like for sale, whether that’s 1 or 1,000.

      Best Regards,

  123. Hi there and thanks for the fantastic info! I am excited to get started. And props to Pat Flynn for helping me find you! 🙌🏼🙌🏼 Today when I was shopping and scanning items on the Amazon app, everything I scanned was either selling at what I would have to buy it for to start with, or said it was not available to sell on Amazon. Can you tell me or point me to where I find out why that is and how I can refine my searches in stores? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Julie,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Items that show up as not available to sell on Amazon, could either be restricted, or not have any listings available on Amazon. If there’s no listing, then you could create a listing for the product and then list your product for sale on the new listing you created. If it’s because it’s a restricted product, that is because Amazon places restrictions on what certain sellers are able to sell. There are certain brands and product categories that require you to apply for approval to be able to sell.

      Let me know if that helps or if you have further questions.

      Best Regards,

      1. Hi Ryan!

        I also found you via SPI and decided to accept the challenge.

        In one day I scanned every clearance item I found at my local Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, Big Lots, Academy, WalMart (whose clearance aisle was rather sparse), and Michaels.

        Definitely learned a lot about pricing practices, in-house brands, and why I prefer shopping on Amazon.

        But much like Julie, the few times I came across articles with the right numbers, they were restricted: Samsung phone covers and almost anything electronic, any Star Wars related toy (got a warning about ‘collectibles’ for these), Crayola, Farber Castell, Brides, boat trailer parts, gun holsters, Nike, Under Armor, Wilton cake decorating stuff but not Wilton cupcake displays (but those didn’t make the numbers)… which brought up the interesting coincidence of within certain brands, the ones that fit the criteria were restricted but the others weren’t.

        Half way through the day I realized I should have recorded all of these to try to get some real data. Also there were a significant number that met everything except the BSR, because there was no BSR listed. What’s up with that?

        At the end of the day, I scored two items that met every criteria. So I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the application/approval process for ‘restricted’ items. Apply? Wait until some seller history established? If so how much?

        Thanks so much. I never cared for shopping much but I’m enjoying the challenge here.



        1. Hi Janine,

          Glad to hear you found a couple of items.

          On the items that did not have a sales rank, this can mean that the item has never sold before, or it can be in a category that Amazon does not have sales rank for. If it doesn’t have a sales rank, you could still buy it to sell on Amazon but it’s riskier as you won’t have any idea of how well it sells. The one caveat to this is if there are “verified purchase reviews,” these will show up in the reviews section of the product. If the product has verified purchase reviews, and no sales rank, then you can still be confident that it sells.

          In terms of restrictions, right away I would focus on items you are already approved to sell as opposed to applying for approval. Over time, it likely will be worth seeking some additional approval.

          Best Regards,

    1. Hi Cubby,

      I just tested it on my end and it seems to be working now. Let me know if it’s still not working for some reason.

      Best Regards,

  124. The links to your shipping to fulfillment guide and your financial results pages are dead…gives me a 404 error.

    That being said, great post. I am deffinetly going to give this a shot.

    1. Hi Curtis,

      Thanks for the heads up. My site recently underwent a redesign, and looks like I missed those. I just double checked and they are working now. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing them.

      Best Regards,

  125. Hey guys,

    Just heard you on the SPI podcast – great work! This is perfect timing as we’ve been downsizing and have an room full of stuff to get rid of. You just saved me hours of researching. Thanks for the awesome resources!

  126. Thank you for your detailed information! I do have this question however, as the math doesn’t seem to add up. In your example it shows $7.50-Selling on Amazon fees, $4.70-Fullfilment by Amazon fees, $1.00-shipping and then $5.70 for TOTAL fulfillment cost. How does this add up? I get costs of $13.20?

    1. Hi Lori,

      In the example you mentioned your math is correct. The $13.20 and in fees is the difference between the selling price of $49.99 and the Seller Proceeds of $36.79 shown in the screenshot. Let me know if you have any other questions on this.

      Best Regards,

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